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tennis-men-d1 flag | February 15, 2014

Buckeyes head back to semifinals

HOUSTON -- Fifth-ranked Ohio State downed No. 10 Texas 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship Saturday at the Downtown Club at the Met. The Buckeyes (11-0) will compete in the semifinals of the competition against No. 1 Virginia.

With the score at 3-2 in favor of the Buckeyes, redshirt junior Kevin Metka clinched the team's ticket to the semifinals after defeating Nick Naumann 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on court No. 5. Metka, a native of Worthington, Ohio, improves to 10 in dual play this year.

With the win, the Buckeyes are now 19-12 all time at the tournament. The Scarlet and Gray have now advanced to the semifinals for the fifth consecutive season.

In doubles, court No. 1 featured a top-10 matchup as second-ranked Peter Kobelt and Metka finished first following a 6-2 victory against No. 7 Soren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool. Ohio State then claimed the first point of the match at court No. 2 when Hunter Callahan and Herkko Pollanen claimed their seventh consecutive win with a 6-4 victory against Nick Naumann and George Goldhoff at No. 2.

Texas jumped out to a 2-1 lead in singles winning on courts No. 2 and 1, respectively. The Longhorns were the first to finish a singles match at court No. 2 where No. 29 Glasspool defeated Chris Diaz 6-2, 6-5. Hess-Olesen then claimed the first set tiebreaker versus Kobelt on No. 1 and went on to defeat the OSU senior, 6-5 (7-5), 6-3.

However, the Buckeyes rebounded quickly to tie it 2-2 when Hunter Callahan downed Sudanwa Sitaram 6-4, 6-4 on court No. 6. With the straight-set victory, Callahan improved to 9-0 this dual season. Pollanen claimed his first collegiate victory versus a ranked opponent to put Ohio State ahead 3-2 on court No. 3. Pollanen defeated No. 32 Goldhoff 6-4, 6-3.

No. 1 Virginia 4, No. 11 California 0

HOUSTON -- Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a 4-0 victory against California on Saturday at the Downtown Club at the Met. The Cavaliers set up a semifinal showdown with Ohio State.

The Cavaliers (6-0) are making their eighth consecutive appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor semifinals, the longest active streak at the tournament, and will meet the Buckeyes in the semifinals for the fifth consecutive season.

The Cavaliers took an early lead by winning the doubles point. For the second match in a row Mac Styslinger and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won the first match off the courts, downing Filip Bergevi and Campbell Johnson 6-2 at No. 3 doubles. At the No. 1 position, Alex Domijan and Justin Shane topped Ben McLachlan and Andre Goransson 6-3 to clinch the opening point for Virginia.

Virginia started singles play strong, winning all six first sets. Kwiatkowski quickly doubled the Cavalier advantage as he posted a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 5 against Gregory Bayane. Domijan extended the lead to 3-0 with his 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2 versus Johnson. With the victory Domijan improved to 12-1 all time in singles matches at the ITA National Team Indoors. Ryan Shane closed out a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles versus Bergevi to clinch the victory.

Virginia tied a school record with its 36th consecutive win, matching the 36-match win streak by the 2010 Cavaliers. It is also the nation's longest active win streak.

No. 2 UCLA 4, No. 7 Oklahoma 2

HOUSTON -- After dropping the doubles point against Oklahoma, UCLA rallied for a 4-2 victory in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoors on Saturday at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club. The Bruins (7-0) now advance to Sunday's semifinals where they will meet either No. 3 Southern California or No. 6 Baylor.

Saturday's match featured four of the top-five players in the nation, headlined by top-ranked Bruin senior Clay Thompson. His match at court No. 1 against second-ranked Guillermo Alcorta figured to be a tight contest. It was anything but, with Thompson losing just two games in a 6-2, 6-0 victory. The Bruins had previously lost the doubles point so Thompson's victory evened the match at 1-1.

The Bruins then went ahead 2-1 when 51st-ranked Mackenzie McDonald posted a 6-5(3), 6-5(2) victory against 28th-ranked Andrew Harris at court No. 3. Fellow freshman Joseph Di Giulio would be next to finish, pushing UCLA's lead to 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Peeraki Siributwong at court No. 6.

Although the Sooners (7-1) would get another point on the board with a 6-5, 6-3 win at court No. 4, the Bruins soon closed the match out when Dennis Mkrtchian downed Alex Ghilea, 6-2, 5-6(8), 6-3 at court No. 5, sending UCLA to the semifinals.

No. 3 Southern California 4, No. 6 Baylor 2

HOUSTON -- Southern California held its ground once again in action at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, taking down Baylor with a 4-2 victory in the quarterfinal round.

Sidelined for almost a month by injury, USC senior Michael Grant has returned with authority. Grant tacked up his second singles win in two days, netting the clincher for the Trojans to beat the Bears from court No. 6. Now 6-0 on the year, the Trojans advance to Saturday's semifinals against No. 2 UCLA for a crosstown rivalry showdown all the way in Texas.

It will be a rematch of last year's ITA Indoor semifinal. At the 2013 tourney, the Trojans registered a 4-3 win against the Bruins in the semis to move into the title match.

The Trojans once again wrapped up the doubles point on strong play from the No. 2 and 3 positions. Connor Farren and Roberto Quiroz punched up the first win of the day in this one, serving up a 6-3 win against Diego Galeano/Tony Lupieri on court No. 2. At the No. 3 spot, USC's Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson got the job done on a 6-4 clincher against Julian Lenz/Robert Verzaal.

No. 16 Yannick Hanfmann would sprint to victory on the singles courts, though, taking the Trojans to a 2-0 lead with his smooth 6-2, 6-1 win against Baylor's No. 18 Galeano on court No. 2. At the No. 5 spot, however, Baylor got on the board. Lupieri pinned up a 6-3 6-1 win against Johnson, but the Trojans found some padding next. On court No. 3, Quiroz knocked out Mate Zsiga with a 6-2, 6-3 decision that had USC up 3-1 on the Bears.

The match tightened up again when the Bears refused to give up, closing to 3-2 when Michael Dornbusch avoided a third set and got the win against Farren with a 6-5 (5), 6-5 (5) decision at the No. 4 slot. That left three-setters raging on courts Nos. 1 and 6, leaving the match up to USC's seniors Ray Sarmiento and Grant. Grant would come up with the heroic finish, bouncing back from a tiebreak loss in the first set to come through in the clutch with a 5-6 (5), 6-2, 6-3 comeback against Vince Schneider at the No. 6 spot.

No. 12 Florida 4, No. 4 Georgia 2

HOUSTON -- Florida halted its three-match losing streak with a 4-2 win against SEC-East foe Georgia at the 2014 ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship at The Downtown Club.

Florida took an early lead in doubles play as the No. 24 senior duo Michael Alford and Stephane Piro led off with a dominant 6-1 victory against Georgia’s Hernus Pieters and Nick Wood. The Bulldogs then took the No. 2 doubles match, but Gators pair Diego Hidalgo and Florent Diep battled back to clinch the doubles point at No. 3.

In singles, UF sophomore Gordon Watson had a clutch performance and defeated UGA’s No. 109 Nick Wood to seal the Gator victory.

“It was pretty exciting," Florida head coach Bryan Shelton said. "Gordon really played well to finish it for us. He had to deal with some pressure there. It’s not easy to close out a good team and he held his nerves together and played aggressively. It was good to see him to play to win. The tiebreak was tight the whole way through and then [UGA’s] Nick Wood finally gave him something. I thought Gordon did a great job of never letting up today.”

Florida dropped the top two singles points but won on the strength of wins at court Nos. 3, 5 and 6.

No. 8 Texas A&M 4, No. 14 Tennessee 1

HOUSTON -- Texas A&M topped Tennessee 4-1 at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Center on Saturday evening in front of a spirited crowd. The Aggies will conclude their participation in the ITA Indoor Championship Sunday against No. 22 Illinois .

Once again the Aggies captured the doubles point to start the match. No. 29 Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo topped Andrew Dromsky and Markus Kerner 6-2 on court No. 3. Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant clinched the point with an identical score line against Jarryd Capline and Brandon Fickey on the second court.

The maroon and white quickly raced out to a 3-0 lead after Szabo dispatched of Dromsky (6-3, 6-3) on court No. 5 followed by No. 25 Efferding defeating Fickey (6-1, 6-3) on court No. 3. The lone blemish on the score line came at court No. 1 as No. 45 Mikelis Libietis upset No. 22 Adams 6-5, 6-5 with both sets going into a tie breaker. Freshman Max Lunkin finished off the Vols on court No. 6 coming back from 3-5 to win in the tiebreaker 7-4 versus Markus Kerner (4-6, 6-3, 6-5).

No. 16 Notre Dame 4, No. 9 Mississippi State 1

HOUSTON -- Notre Dame handily took down Mississippi State in the consolation play of the ITA National Team Indoor Championship 4-1.

The Irish were in trouble early, as they lost the doubles point at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Notre Dame has not dropped the doubles point to an opponent since the match against Minnesota three weeks ago.

Senior Ryan Bandy was the first off the court at No. 3 singles. Despite being down early in his first set to Jordan Angus (ranked 115th), he battled back to win 6-2, 6-3.

Sophomore Eric Schnurrenberger next defeated Tassilo Schmid at No. 6, 6-3, 6-4. After winning his first set, Schnurrenberger had to battle back from a 3-0 deficit in his second set.

Freshman Josh Hagar won the third point for the Irish, taking down Zach White 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4.

The match was clinched by senior Greg Andrews, who defeated 52nd-ranked Florian Lakat 6-5(5), 6-4 to break a six-loss streak.